What Will It Take to Free Congress?
- Timing: Have you ever noticed the dates on the Constitutional amendments we've passed? They don’t occur regularly but cyclically, sometimes in clusters. We are at the end of a long era of corruption, the time when reform amendment succeeds. And we’re electing a new administration in 2016, and will probably do so again in 2020. An election turning over an administration has the largest turnout, when a single-issue focus can impact Congress the most.
- A Specific Written Goal: Vagueness doesn't work. A written instrument is a specific goal whose progress can be measured. This amendment is a complete written resolution that can be specifically demanded and passed.
- An Independent First Move: Getting a resolution into Congress is the first hurdle for the public. A government website now allows the public to petition the President to make recommendations to Congress, in accordance with Article II, Section 3. This amendment may apply for a WethePeople.gov petition to take advantage of the 2018 or 2020 election (see Signing the Petition). We originally intended to do this in 2016, but were unable to do so.
- Another independent first move, primary reform, bypasses Congressional resistance by using the courts. Current caselaw on primary elections defies the Constitution's plain text but the Justice responsible for the most invalidating opinion recently passed away, making the simple error easier to correct (see Primaries for the details). Removing primaries from the protectionist control of political parties will make it easier for the people to hold members accountable. Besides being a tremendous improvement in itself, primary reform will help get the amendment into and through Congress.
- Using Win-Win Power: Whenever we make a specific resolution an electoral issue, legislators withstand behind-the-scenes opposition to it. These repairs benefit them. Being free from monetary influence will make their work much easier. Remember, though, they can't do this themselves. Because of public interest, several flawed proposals have passed some of the levels in both House and Senate (see Stages of Congressional Passage for an Amendment). Or good ones have started the process, then been watered down to ineffectiveness. The public has to demand passage as drafted.
- Electing People Who Will Get It Done: If our officers can't withstand corrupting pressure despite public pressure to pass this reform, we have to place people in office who will. By electing candidates who don't take corporate or PAC money, free candidates can win or hold enough seats in the House to pass the only proposed measure that is effective and enforceable. The Senate will take note of it as an electoral issue. If not enough Senators can stand their ground for it, we'll have to make sure enough free candidates win Senate seats in 2018 to pass it (see Passing It Through Congress, Be a Write-in Candidate).
- Bypassing Obstacles when Possible: This Amendment’s Resolution uses ratification by state Convention, bypassing state legislatures (see Ratifying It). If we keep supporting it with local and state officers and candidates, and nominate good people to the state ratification conventions, it'll be ratified within the given two years - most Amendments have been.
- Public Involvement: It’s up to the public to decide together (see Get Involved). The public's role in the political process has eroded. This isn't legislators' problem, it's ours. And it won't solve itself. Do you want these repairs, restorations of constitutional text and safeguards? This proposal has been sent to Congress, to a few other government officers, to colleges, universities and law schools across the country, to a few major libraries and religious and community leaders and to media outlets. Press releases will announce the petition and all votes.
Everything you learn about the political process makes you a more effective member of the community. This proposal contains a lot of information but the best way to learn self-governance is by doing it.
And if we can't Free Congress? Be Congress!
They can't do it themselves.
This proposal sets a challenge: Free Congress to pass this amendment!
Opponents will always call reform unachievable: after all, it has to pass Congress and the state legislatures, and if corruption is the problem how can it? Two of the worst contributions to this problem happened before anyone in Congress today was born (1905 and 1929; see Restoring the Preamble and Frozen Apportionment). It's doubtful that anyone then realized how bad the long-term results would be. Today's members can't vote for this amendment; they can't even say so! They're beholden.
Yet reforms sometimes succeed. How? It's simple: when legislators can't help themselves, the public has to come together and take charge. We can make our politics reflect what’s best in us, not what’s worst. Public servants feel trapped by the current electoral process. They know they'll be able to do their jobs better after reform.
This amendment is designed to fill in the gaps in our political process.
It will make it work better for legislators, Presidents, the courts and the public for many generations to come.
"Free Congress! - Be Congress!" has no connection with Let'sFreeCongress.org or the Free Congress Foundation.
Free Congress - Be Congress